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NFT is an acronym for a "non-fungible token" minted on a public blockchain.
A non-fungible token is a digital item or asset that cannot be replaced with another while maintaining its intrinsic value. Each NFT in existence is unique. Therefore, although two NFTs may have similar characteristics, each has a unique feature that distinguishes it from another as viewed from the deploying blockchain. For example, there are numerous Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs. However, each digital representation has differentiating characteristics or features that give it value in the primary and secondary markets.

What is the Difference between an NFT and Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that run on blockchain technology and are similar to NFTs. However, one primary difference is that a cryptocurrency like BTC or ETH is fungible. This means it can be exchanged for another. Meanwhile, an NFT is unique and cannot be swapped for another.

How Does an NFT Work?

NFTs are created and distributed on the blockchain. The process of creating NFTs is known as minting. Pictures, videos, GIFS, Music, and tweets can be minted as NFTs. The most popular network used for creating and distributing non-fungible tokens is Ethereum. Competing smart contracting platforms like Solana and Waves also support NFTs. Some NFTs have unique features that can make exponentially gain value. Others have utility, finding use in games and more. Depending on the owner, Minted NFTs can be stored in a crypto wallet and listed on an NFT marketplace.

Types of NFTs

Files, including music videos, JPEGs, audios, and more, fit perfectly as non-fungible tokens because of the need to verify ownership, of which the distributed ledger provides automatic provenance. In-game utility items are other popular kinds of NFTs. These can be won or bought in interactive games like Axie Infinity, Alien Worlds, and others. Virtual lands are other NFTs popularized by flagship projects Decentraland and Sandbox on Ethereum. Many virtual land investors project an appreciation in the value of digital real estate in the coming years. At the same time, domain names can be converted into NFTs. However, many browsers do not support these NFTs since their naming system is poorly developed.

Uses of NFTs

NFTs are not just digital items on the blockchain. They can be used to record transactions in the commercial world. Since the blockchain is immutable, records of transactions in real estate, medicine, and academics can be preserved permanently in the form of NFTs. Additionally, NFTs can be used in the world of finance. Some platforms accept NFTs as collateral to obtain loans. The loans are given out as cryptocurrencies and can be converted to fiat.

Where to Buy NFTs

Popular NFT marketplaces are OpenSea, Rarible, Solanart, and Nifty Gateway. A significant consideration when buying NFTs in any marketplace is the minting fees. Ethereum-based NFTs tend to be pricer because of high Gas. Alternative layers like Solana, BNB Chain, and Waves offer comparatively lower mining fees because their networks are scalable. However, being the first and most active, Ethereum-based NFTs are relatively popular.